Wednesday, October 26, 2022

"Institute of Art and Ideas"

IAINews, Henry Shevlin, "The artist is dead, AI killed them Can AI be genuinely creative?"


Henry Shelvin, University of Cambridge 

"Our mission at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) is to build a new interdisciplinary community of researchers, with strong links to technologists and the policy world, and a clear practical goal: to work together to ensure that we humans make the best of the opportunities of artificial intelligence as it develops over coming decades."

"Henry Shevlin (PhD, CUNY Graduate Center, 2016; BPhil, Oxford, 2009) is a Senior Research Fellow with the Kinds of Intelligence programme and Course Co-leader of the MSt AI Ethics and Society. His work focuses on issues at the intersection of philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and animal cognition, with a particular emphasis on perception, memory, and desire. Since 2015, he has been serving as a student committee member of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness."

Remember Saint-Simon,  the avant-garde and the future of war, and the previous fucking post.  The positivist model of art is kitsch. 

I never stop posting comments, but I don't expect much. Some typos fixed, added links, misc.

If a scholar wrote an essay making an original argument using nothing but quotes from other writers with a few words in-between it would be called plagiarism. Academics don't write well, but there you go. Plagiarism wasn't an issue you 300 years ago and now it is. 

But you have no understanding of what art is. Art isn't forward looking; it's retrospective. It's not "creative" it's observational, that's why it ages well, when it does.

"So what Brasilia became in less than 20 years wasn't the city of tomorrow at all. It was yesterday's science fiction. Nothing dates faster than people's fantasies about the future." Robert Hughes had his weak points, but here he's on the money.

Picasso painted the present in 1906. It's the same present described by TS Eliot. "HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME" Plagiarism or collage? 

Most importantly both made art about arrogant schoolboys terrified of women. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon is a castration scene. Eliot and Duchamp were political reactionaries, and Picasso was a cafe communist (who made a fortune speculating on his own artwork). But more importantly they were all brilliant 20th century boys, and they describe that reality—specific to place and race and class-better than their peers, or at least better than those that we know of. They describe their present better than you describe ours.

There's no such thing as AI. Intelligence is animal. Proust wrote about memory and loss: the descriptions of emotion. When you invent a program that fears its own obsolescence or death let me know. But I don't think any of us want a delusional supercomputer.


Jason Allen used a program as a tool. He's playing a language game using technology. The tool didn't make the art. And Eno at this point is a designer of sound and image. Design is a subcategory of art, but it doesn't force to rethink anything. His early work, a mixture of the Beatles, Gilbert and Sullivan and coin-tossing, did. But Eric Satie is less a great composer than a charming one. 
I've added this because I'm going to go off as a pedant on what is or is not art. Computers make patterns and patterns are aesthetic by definition. 

If you want to think about the relation of art and design and Warhol soup cans you should watch this film—Inge Druckrey: Teaching to See [no link code allowed: repeat]—and understand how much work goes into the designs we take for granted, and remember that Warhol was both a homosexual and a devout Byzantine Catholic. His printed paintings are both ironic and sincere. The works in his Death and Disaster series are terrifying. Warhol will be remembered for the art he made out of his confusions and fears, because if you pay attention you begin to understand them, through a visceral, animal, neurological, "sympathetic vibration". 

“People say Andy said he was a machine, but he didn’t. He said he wanted to be a machine, and that’s not the same thing at all.” Callie Angell 

It's a common desire these days. In the future people will ask how that came to be. Art ain't rocket science, but it goes along way to describing the minds of rocket scientists.

I spent too much time trying to find the post with the Boston Robotics video.  

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